Frosts, Freezes Damaged Fruit Crops (175)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– The fall apple harvest in Tennessee will be reduced due to repeated frosts and freezes this month, a University of Tennessee fruit specialist said Friday.

 Dr. David Lockwood of UT’s Agriculture Extension Service said apple trees in West Tennessee suffered some damage but fared better than those in Middle and East Tennessee.

 “We’ve seen erosion of the apple crop the last several weeks with the continual frosts and freezes,” Lockwood said. “Some orchards have only 30-50 percent of the crop remaining.”

 Lockwood said strawberry and peach crops also suffered some damage.

 “Peaches in Tennessee have fared better than apples, which isn’t supposed to happen,” Lockwood said. “Even with the weather, there are a fair number of peaches, especially in West Tennessee.”

 Lockwood said peach blooms were setting such a large crop in the early spring that they would have required heavy thinning.

 Strawberries producers who irrigated for frost protection can expect a a good crop, Lockwood said. Those who didn’t probably lost most of their early blooms and can expect a latter crop, he said.

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 Contact: Dr. David Lockwood (423-7208)